Morbidity and mortality associated with gastrectomy for gastric cancer

Wesley A. Papenfuss, Moshim Kukar, Jacqueline Oxenberg, Kristopher Attwood, Steven Nurkin, Usha Malhotra, Neal W. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Background. Surgery alone is often inadequate for advanced-stage gastric cancer. Surgical complications may delay adjuvant therapy. Understanding these complications is needed for multidisciplinary planning. Material and Methods. The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) database was queried for patients who underwent gastrectomy for malignancy (ICD-9 code 151.x) from 2005 to 2010. Thirty-day mortality and morbidity were evaluated. Results. Overall, 2,580 patients underwent gastrectomy for malignancy, divided as total gastrectomy 999 (38.7 %) and partial gastrectomy 1,581 (61.3 %). Overall, serious morbidity occurred in 23.6 %, and the 30-day mortality was 4.1 %. Patients receiving a total gastrectomy were younger and healthier than those receiving a partial gastrectomy for the following measured criteria: age, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension. Serious morbidity and mortality were significantly higher in the total gastrectomy group than the partial gastrectomy group (29.3 vs. 19.9 %, p < 0.001; and 5.4 vs. 3.4 %, p < 0.015, respectively). The inclusion of additional procedures increased the risk of mortality for the following: splenectomy (odds ratio [OR] 2.8; p < 0.001), pancreatectomy (OR 3.5; p = 0.001), colectomy (OR 3.6; p < 0.001), enterectomy (OR 2.7; p = 0.030), esophagectomy (OR 3.5; p = 0.035). Abdominal lymphadenectomy was not associated with increased morbidity (OR 1.1; p = 0.41); rather, it was associated with decreased mortality (OR 0.468; p = 0.028). Conclusions. Gastrectomy for cancer as currently practiced carries significant morbidity and mortality. Inclusion of additional major procedures increases these risks. The addition of lymphadenectomy was not associated with increased morbidity or mortality. Strategies are needed to optimize surgical outcomes to ensure delivery of multimodality therapy for advanced-stage disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3008-3014
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)

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